The Star Spangled Banner as You've Never Heard It!
The oral history of the night that inspired our National Anthem, the Star Spangled Banner.
Listen to this story of our great Veterans during the war of 1812, have your children listen to this, your friends, your family, and your neighbors.
May God Bless and deliver safely our brave men and women who at this very moment are laying their lives on the alter of freedom so we may live without fear!
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InvestYourself Kewl Product of the Week
InvestYourself is Proud to be a partner to "Beulah's Place" a non profit organization designed to help homeless teens get off the street. If you've ever considered Donating to a Charity, this is one that should top your list. Seriously folks. Below is a story, a story where in the end, everyone wins...especially the teens toughing out life on mean streets. Please give it a read, it's enjoyable!
A Rare Chance To Be Famous
Would you like to be famous? Maybe not movie star famous, but held in the highest regards? Would you like to be rewarded for Helping people?
If you've been with us for any or all of the last 17 years, you know I don't do advertising in the newsletter. I don't hit you with spam about buying every latest greatest gizmo. I just put out the letter and if it works for you, great! If not, good luck, I hope you find something that does.
But I am going to introduce you all to something today that "Could" change your life and WILL change the lives of other people. I want you all to carefully consider what I'm about to present to you.
If I ask you, "what was the single greatest maritime disaster in the US?" chances are good that 99% of you could not answer me. You might think of the Titanic, or maybe the Navy Nuclear sub we lost. No, neither of them work. Unfortunately the single greatest US maritime disaster is known by only a few people, and it's the story of that disaster that brings me to today's story.
Ten days after President Lincoln's assassination, more than 1,800 people died when a steamboat built for 376 but carrying over 2,400 exploded on the Mississippi River just outside Memphis. It was late at night, and the river was swollen and turbulent from the spring snow melt and floods. Most were Union soldiers who had managed to come through the savagery of the battlefield, the horrors of Confederate prison camps, and the treachery of the long journey to the Vicksburg docks. They died just a few days from reuniting with their loved ones in the north.
The Boats name was The Sultana, and the history of what was taking place at that time was overshadowed by Lincoln's assassination. But deeper than that, there were many good reasons that the politicians and Generals of the time didn't want a National Inquiry into what had happened. They knew the overloaded conditions were brought on by greed, they knew the boilers needed replacement and in fact one was temporarily patched just days before the boat blew up. They knew there were "inconvenient" connections to people "very high up", and the history swirls and dances in circles, with so many twists and turns, it's worthy of a book and a movie.
Well, they're both coming. Partners of mine are in negotiations to finalize the book publishing. The 'movie people" are in a bidding process. The story of the Sultana reads something like a cross between Gone with the Wind and Titanic. It truly is epic in nature.
This is where you can become "famous" so to speak.
Several years ago, an artist named Wayne Neal was contracted by us to paint the Sultana as it looked on the river just before those fateful moments when the boilers blew. It took several years, and cost tens of thousands of dollars, but when it was finished, it was indeed a spectacular piece of history. The detail that Mr Neal placed in that painting is truly breathtaking. Unfortunately Mr. Neal has passed away and won't see the Sultana project come to completion. I'm certain that seeing the story told on the "big screen" would have been quite pleasing to a man that put years of passion into the painting.
Mr. Neal working on the Sultana
As we steam forward on this project, There will be other interesting things I can share with you about it. For instance, Ron Wheeler the man behind the project fought for years to get the state departments to finally acknowledge the tragedy and give those brave soldiers a proper memorial. Here's a clip of it finally happening as after over 140 years, those folks got the military recognition and Congressional recognition they deserved... Bravo to Ron Wheeler for his ten + years of dogged determination to bring this forward.
Please watch this moving clip.
Click Here for Memorial Video
But what I would like to present to you today is this... We have contracted to create a number of "Giclee's" (pronounced Zheek lays) in two different sizes. A Giclee is a digital reproduction using high definition ink jetting processes. Unlike a common lithograph which can be done for a small amount of money, a well done Giclee is virtually undetectable from the original because it is indeed reproduced using ink, not a "photo copy". To quote... "if the original and our Giclee was side by side, I couldn't pick out the original" I would simply be guessing. It takes many hours to reproduce just one print, and the quality of the ink must match that of the original.
With the Book and the Movie coming in the near future, we are offering something very special. We are going to presell a number of these prints ahead of the release of the book/movie. But here's the good part. The money raised from the sale doesn't go to "profits". It doesn't go to Ron, it doesn't go to corporate. No, it goes to a non profit organization for homeless kids. The Giclee's come in two sizes, the smaller is 3,800 and comes framed and insured for the full amount. The larger is 7,800 dollars and it too comes with a spectacular frame and is fully insured.
Now the best part. The purchase is 100% tax deductible. Yes you read right. Because the proceeds are going to Beulah's Place, a non profit for homeless teens, every penny is tax deductible.
Here's your chance folks. You get to help provide housing and food and education for kids that have lost it all in a tough world. In return you get a gorgeous reproduction of a historical event that will soon become common knowledge via media, books, movies, commemorative coins, concerts, etc.
I'm involved in this project and it's one of the most exciting things I've done in a long time. I won't say you're going to be famous and be in the movie. But I will say that if you purchase one of these Giclee's you'll be the most famous person on earth to the child that gets to live "inside" for a change instead of out in the street. Instead of sending your tax money to Uncle Sam, spend it yourself by helping these kids.
Here's a short video about the Prints, and the Homeless Organization. Please take a moment to watch....
Thanks folks... You know I don't do anything I dont' believe in. I believe in this.
Donations For Kids
"Bob, Are you selling Paintings? Explain this to me again?.... Thanks, Ed"
No, I'm not. But I do want to send this "special" note out so you can all understand just what I was trying to express a couple weeks ago.
If you've been around us for any length of time, you know we don't hound you with advertising, we don't pump the letters full of "buy this report" and all the goofy stuff that most newsletter writers put in their publications. Hey, I get it..I could make an awful lot of money accepting ads from all the outfits that ask us if they can advertise with us. For the most part, I just don't do it.
But as you can imagine, every now and then something comes across my desk that is indeed very interesting. I've had investment offers of many kinds come to me and although most of them are nothing but pie in the sky dreams, every once in a while I get something worth looking into. But I have to tell you, for me to be an investor in a start up, or some new venture project, it better have all the right parts. It better be a good business, it better be growing, it better throw off a lot of cash, it better reward me relatively quickly.
Every so often, I will introduce to the readers something that I think is a good investment project. Sometimes it's very exciting to be part of some start up that goes on to become really successful. If done correctly, and it goes public... well then you've found the golden goose, because even small pink sheet companies can indeed make a lot of money.
So, every once in a while, I'll put out an opportunity where you could become an investor in a project I'm invested in or working with.
But today I want to do a bit of a follow up on something I mentioned two weeks ago in the Sunday letter. I truly believe I need to express why I'm presenting this a bit better than I have. So, let's just do a quick recap, and then move on to what I want to chat about.
I'm involved in a project concerning the tragedy of the Sultana, the worst maritime disaster the US ever had, and yet almost no one is familiar with it. As I said, there's a book coming, there's a movie coming, there's commemorative silver coins coming, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. But just to show you what kind of talent is involved with this, please read this....
John Mercanti was the Chief engraver of the US mint. His artwork has been seen by more people around the world than literally any other artist. John has produced more coin and medal designs than any employee in United States Mint history Among these are the 1984 Olympic gold ten-dollar coin, the 1986 Statue of Liberty dollar coin, the 1989 Congress Bicentennial gold five-dollar coin, the obverse of the 1990 Eisenhower Centennial silver dollar, the obverse of the 1991 Mount Rushmore five-dollar coin, and the obverse of the 1991 Korean War Memorial silver dollar. In addition to designing and sculpting a number of Congressional Gold Medals, Mercanti worked on quarters for the states of Arkansas, Iowa, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia for the 50 State Quarters Program.
As you can see, his skills at design and engraving have indeed been seen by hundreds of millions of people. John will be the designer and engraver of the Sultana commemorative coin, and he's obviously an asset of indescribable value to the project.
One of the things that had already been produced was a painting of the Sultana moments before it blew up in the Mississippi river. Several years ago, an artist named Wayne Neal was contracted by us to paint the Sultana as it looked on the river just before those fateful moments when the boilers blew. It took several years, and cost tens of thousands of dollars, but when it was finished, it was indeed a spectacular piece of history. The detail that Mr Neal placed in that painting is truly breathtaking. Unfortunately Mr. Neal has passed away and won't see the Sultana project come to completion. I'm certain that seeing the story told on the "big screen" would have been quite pleasing to a man that put years of passion into the painting.
This is where things take their "twist" so to speak. All along the Sultana Project (Book/Movie/coins/prints etc) the one concrete theme was that a large portion of any and all income was to be donated to the Non profit agencies. The man behind the project, Mr. Wheeler has been a fund raiser, organizer, and staunch supporter of several non profits that center around children. From "Mothers Against Sexual Abuse" (MASA) to various others, he's always been about "helping the kids". Well, one dear lady, Andi Buerger has embarked on a project to help the homeless teens. This is where I became "involved".
I am like most folks. I know there's kiddie porn, I know there's all manner of sexual abuses. I know that there are people (Andi herself) who have had to grow up and live with the pain of abuses inflicted on them at an early age. But frankly.. since I was raised in a great home, and didn't have any personal experience with any of it, you know the story.. out of sight, out of mind.
Well, that attitude of mine changed a while back as I was reading a case history of a school that's doing tremendous work with kids that you could only call "troubled". Having a friend that wrote for the Detroit police blotter, I do get to hear a lot of things that most people don't even want to hear about. But, this was different. In this one particular school, if a kid went nuts on the teacher, they didn't send them to the principal to get suspended for the day. They went there and the principal would give him a soda and ask him kindly... Having a bad day? Anything you want to talk about? Got anything you need to get off your chest? He would be this kids friend and try and find out why he flipped.
Now that's not the kind of response that I'm used to considering when some "punk" just flipped off the teacher. I'm from the old school of "oh yeah, you're going to flip out on one of my teachers? You're going to spend some time at home thinkin about that one buddy". But that's when my eyes were opened. I talked to Fred about this approach and I had a conversation I never ever thought about. He said "Bob, think about this. We're talking kids from poor districts, in bad areas. That kid's in school which is a big plus, but chances are his crackhead whore mom is passed out. His little sister might not have had food for 3 days. His drunk father might be setting up tricks for his mother. His head is so screwed from his "homelife" that sometimes they can't hold it in.
Wow. Wake up call.
As I looked further into this, it opened doors I didn't want opened. Let's be frank. If you're reading a financial newsletter, chances are you were raised at least "semi" normal. But think about the darker side. How on earth does a teen who wants to be good deal with all that?? If you're 14, you're poor.. your father has had his crack buddies sexually abuse you since you were 12. So you go to school. You're trying, but you've had a bad night.. mom wasn't home an daddy slapped you around. You went to school, but you snapped at the teacher.
The stories he told me of the abuse, the stress was.. well, enough to literally bring a tear to my eye. One kid, trying like hell to be "right" trying to study, pushed a teacher. It was more of a reflex action than an attack, the teacher had moved past him quickly from behind and he went "defensive". When the administrator sat down with the kid, he said "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to push Mrs. X.. but she came past me quickly and startled me". Well after more conversation, come to find out this kid was attacked in his "hood" by two people from behind a few months earlier. One beat on him while the other stole his money and his shoes. Then when he got home, his mother beat him for losing his shoes. He spent the next five nights in a closet with no food.
That's his world.
So, I have a much much greater respect now for the folks trying to help the kids with their problems. Drugs, crappy parents, deplorable living conditions, you name it effects these kids and they need "help" and a friend a lot more than they need to be punished.
Andi is trying to help the homeless kids. The ones that crack from the pressure. The ones that figure that living on the street is better than living at "home". But like any non profit, they need money. Buildings, housing, food, clothes all cost money. That is where the "paintings" come in.
We have contracted to create a number of "Giclee's" (pronounced Zheek lays) of Wayne Neal's painting done in two different sizes. A Giclee is a digital reproduction using high definition ink jetting processes. Unlike a common lithograph which can be done for a small amount of money, a well done Giclee is virtually undetectable from the original because it is indeed reproduced using ink, not a "photo copy". To quote... "if the original and our Giclee was side by side, I couldn't pick out the original" I would simply be guessing. It takes many hours to reproduce just one print, and the quality of the ink must match that of the original.
If you have it in your heart to help the children, kids that have figured that life on the street is better than the nightmare they have at "home", Consider a donation to Andi and her Non profit. As is most charitable donations, any corporation or LLC can receive a 100% tax relief for the donation. The "neat" part of this one is.. if you donate to her project, you'll get something of value in return.
Think of it like watching an evangelist on TV. If you donate to their cause, they will often send you a prayer book or bible, or what have you. Well in our instance, if you donate just 100 dollars you'll get a nice frameable lithograph as a thank you. If your organization would like the pride of donating $3,800 to the cause, in return you'll receive one of the gorgeous Giclee's, shipped, and insured for it's total value.
So to answer the question.. Am I selling prints?.. the answer is no. I'm selling a plea. The prints are simply a reward for being a special person. My plea is that you'd like to help the kids, you'd like to make a special donation. In return, you'll have a piece of US history to hang in your office, and frankly, not only will it be a conversation piece... as the book and movie roll out, it will become quite valuable.
If you're interested, please contact ME. I have set this up so that you all know where the money is at any moment. Since you don't know Andi, or Ron, or John or anyone else, I will be the intermediary.
Thanks for listening and I hope you all get involved.
Just send me an email at
Mr. Wayne Neal creating the "Sultana"